My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother.That's not true—Romney was against all abortion until last Monday, when he decided to support abortion in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life was in danger. But he didn't support abortion in cases "merely" involving health—that exception was entirely new. Never fear, though, Greg Sargent reports Romneyland has already walked that back.
But there is no shift, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul tells me. She emails:So now the question is which side is telling the truth: Mitt Romney ... or his campaign?
“Gov. Romney’s position is clear: he opposes abortion except for cases of rape, incest and where the life of the mother is threatened.”That means no health exception.
And there lingers another important question. In the interview, Romney said that he believed the legality of abortion was a settled issue and shouldn't be a political topic. "The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years," he said, "but this is a matter in the courts. It's been settled for some time in the courts."
Romney's claim that the legality of abortion is "settled" is a huge deal. If he sticks to that position, he'll basically be coming full circle to his 1994 position, which was that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land and that it was time to move on to other issues. It would be great if Republicans were actually willing to do that, but they're not. That's why time and time again Mitt Romney has pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade, a position utterly in conflict with his claim that Roe v. Wade is "settled" and shouldn't be an issue in elections.
Romney should be getting pounded by all sides on this: by pro-choice people to make sure he doesn't try to wiggle out of his abortion position all over again; by Democrats who should point out that this is yet another flip-flop—at least for however long it lasts; by "pro-life" people who clearly don't think there is anything "settled" about Roe v. Wade; and by the media, to illuminate what, if anything, Romney really believes.